#1 Apply ethical principles and standards to ethical dilemmas.CRITERION: Ethical Concerns: Apply ethical standards to ethical concerns pertaining to the case scenario.Faculty Comments:“Applies at least two ethical concerns with the case scenario and minimally applies ethical standards to the concerns. Good job discussing the ethical concerns that you have related to this case scenario. Ethics should always be in the forefront of your mind in our field because we have access to vulnerable populations. It would have been best if you had identified the specific standards that applied to the case and then applied it.#2 Biases: Describe one’s past or present biases toward others of different cultures.Faculty Comments:“Minimally describes at least one past or present bias toward others of different cultures and/or strategies for improving one’s cultural competency related to bias is not discussed. Self-awareness through honesty, depth, variety, detail, and/or nuance is lacking.You did a great job discussing your biases; however, you didn’t do a great job of providing a strategy to address them. Knowing your cultural loopholes will help you be a better psychologist/counselor because you will be more aware of when you are on a slippery slope.
An Ethical Predicament
Linked To A
Lake City Counseling
Case Study Overview
Sean and Lisa are an African American couple living
in the impoverished South Side area of Chicago
Although not married, they are parents to Trent, a 12year-old, 7th grade student at a public middle school
close to their home.
Sean is a semi-absentee father, frequently in and out
of jail with substance abuse issues.
He is abusive to both Lisa and Trent.
The abuse is normally either verbal or physical,
depending on what he feels they did wrong.
Lisa owns a small hair salon in her neighborhood- the
only stable source of livelihood for the family.
Trent has developed rebellious traits- bullying his fellow
students, getting into fights, skipping school and disregard
Trent was recently arrested for arson – he burnt a fellow
student’s tree house because she refused to kiss him.
A psychological evaluation diagnosed Trent with conduct
A court hearing the matter recommended Trent go
through psychotherapy or go to juvenile jail.
Sean refused to let his son go to psychotherapy, saying a
black person does not need therapy. He insists his son only
‘needs Jesus’ and he should ‘eat his sentence like a man.’
Desperate, Lisa went to her local hospital where she
presented her case before Jane, a 33-year-old white
• White, 29-year-old
• Employed and single,
earns a decent salary.
• Black, 41-year-old male.
• Educated (degree in
• High school drop out
• Ex-convict living in a
• Sean does not see any importance or value of psychotherapy
for a black person.
• He views sharing problems with a psychologist (more so a
white woman) as a deviation from black masculinity.
• Jane may view Sean as the stereotypical ‘black father’absentee father, engaging in criminal activity with substance
• These biases may be mitigated by scheduling a meeting
between the two.
• Jane should listen to Sean with an open multicultural mind,
resonate with one of his principles and earn his trust.
• This would make it easier for Sean to allow his son to attend
psychotherapy and perhaps set precedence for a session
together with his son to solve the family dysfunction problems.
The moral and professional responsibility to
always help anyone diagnosed with a mental
disorder within their capacity (Kyoungmoo Lee,
The professional responsibility to allow a patient’s
parents to make the decision on whether to
pursue a treatment program for their child.
The professional and moral responsibility to weigh
a patient’s health needs over the decisions by
the patient’s parent(s).
The First Ethical Theory
What is considered right or wrong depends on
the outcomes (consequentialism).
Every situation is inherently different.
The best ethical decision is one which causes the
greatest good to all concerned parties.
The best ethical decision is one which satisfies
Trent’s mental health needs for treatment while
reducing resistance from his father (Freiman,
It is also the decision that eliminates worry,
anxiety and concern in Lisa.
Deontology- the Second
A normative ethical theory.
The best ethical decision is based on an already
existing set of rules- the law, religion or ethical
codes of conduct
The moral obligation (duty) remains the same
regardless of the complexity in the situation.
The best decision in this case is the one that
meets requirements preset by the law and
psychiatrist’s code of conduct (Neta, 2015).
Comparison of Deontology
• Based on
• Best decision is the one
that offers the greatest
good for all.
• A normative ethical
• Moral obligation to make
a decision consistent with
professional or personal
• Best decision depends on • Moral obligation is
Ethical Decision Making with
Fisher’s Ethical Decision Making
Model (Fisher, 2017).
Jane should first review her professional
commitment and responsibilities in the case.
She should review her ethics code of conduct.
She should understand Sean’s. Trent’s and Lisa’s
perspectives regarding the matter.
She should use these perspectives to generate
possible alternatives based on ethical theories.
She should then select the best possible
Best Practice for Working With Poor
African American Families…
The best practice is inclusion with multicultural
awareness- involving parents and the patients.
In cases where mental health conditions are
accentuated by environmental factors including
all stakeholders is the ultimate solution (Berry,
Treatment does not only involve helping the
patient, but dealing the environmental causing
agents (for example, family dysfunction in Trent’s
It is important to resolve the dysfunction issues via
one or more sessions with his parents.
Jane should first engage Trent’s father and
explain the importance of the treatment
program for his future socio-cultural
She should also seek to discover his perspective
and cultural undertones regarding his
disapproval of the program.
If Sean proves uncooperative, she might advice
Lisa to legally compel Sean to accept Trent’s
treatment program and also seek treatment. She
could even advice Lisa to file a complaint
against him for abuse.
Jane should also suggest evaluation and
treatment for Lisa too because she is also a
Utilitarianism dictates the best solution for alldealing with the root cause of the problem.
It justifies the decision to encourage Trent’s
parents to go through treatment.
Lisa is a victim of abuse while Sean depicts signs
of mental health disorder(s) based on his
Deontology gives Jane the moral responsibility to
help everyone since they all portray mental
health issues within her capacity.
Helping Trent alone would mean the causative
environment would result in an increased
likelihood of reemergence of his disorder.
Offering help to both parents too would strive to
deal with the underlying environmental issues
Berry, J. (2016). Comparative analysis of Canadian multiculturalism policy and the multiculturalism
policies of other countries. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(1), 4–23.
Fisher, C. B. (2017). Decoding the ethics code : a practical guide for psychologists. Sage.
Freiman, C. (2013). Utilitarianism and Public Justification. Journal of Social Philosophy, 44(3), 250–269.
Govrin, A. (2014). From ethics of care to psychology of care: reconnecting ethics of care to
contemporary moral psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 5.
Kyoungmoo Lee. (2014). Traditional Ethics and Moral Psychology. Journal of Ethics, 1(97), 221–242.
Mackinnon, B., & Fiala, A. (2015). Ethics : theory and contemporary issues. Cengage Learning.
Mohrmann, M. (2015). Feminist Ethics and Religious Ethics. Journal of Religious Ethics, 43(2), 185–192.
Neta, R. (2015). Coherence and Deontology. Philosophical Perspectives, 29(1), 284–304.
Pedrotti, J. T. (2011). Broadening perspectives: Strategies to infuse multiculturalism into a positive
psychology course. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(6), 506–513.
Standish, P. (2006). Toleration, multiculturalism and mistaken belief. Ethics and Education, 1(1), 79–100.
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